Market Snapshot, 8:30 am CT (VIP) -- August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012 03:39 AM

Corn futures are 2 to 4 cents higher on disappointing early harvest results.

  • Corn futures have move off their earlier highs, but they remain supported by concerns the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour will find disappointing yield results.
  • Disappointing early harvest results from the southern Corn Belt are also filtering into the market and providing light support.
  • USDA announced a 121,000 metric ton (MT) corn sale to Mexico, with 99,000 MT for 2012-13 and 22,000 MT for 2013-14. This signals the country is concerned about prices rising further.


Soybean futures are 5 to 12 cents higher on concerns about tight supplies.

  • Nearby soybean futures have moved above last week's highs as traders remain concerned about tightening supplies.
  • Gulf soybean basis is steady to 2 cents higher to reflect tight supplies and/or continued solid demand.
  • Traders will be watching results from the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour this week for clues as to whether the crop has stabilized since USDA released its August Crop Production Report.


Wheat futures are fractionally to 4 cents lower at all three exchanges amid a lack of fresh supportive news.

  • Futures were choppy much of the overnight session, but have weakened as traders opt to take some profits out of the market. Strength in the corn and soybean markets is limiting pressure on wheat futures
  • Helping to limit pressure is word of more cuts to Russia's wheat crop. SovEcon has cut its wheat forecast to 39 million metric tons (MMT) to 41 MMT from 40.5 MMT to 42.5 MMT previously, as it says early harvest results are disappointing.


Live cattle futures are seen mostly higher on strength in the cash market.

  • August live cattle prices are in line with last week's $1 to $2 higher cash cattle trade that occurred late Friday at $121 to $122.
  • Traders will be watching the beef market closely for clues as to whether packers are still short-bought on cattle ahead of Labor Day features.
  • Friday's Cattle on Feed Report was termed "neutral" by traders, with On Feed coming in just a touch above expectations at 101% of year-ago levels. Placements and Marketings came in tighter than expected at 90% and 100% of year-ago, respectively.


Lean hog futures are called to open mixed, with buying limited by growing supplies.

  • The cash hog market is expected to be steady to $1 lower amid plentiful supplies. Fortunately, packers' profit margins are in the black so they are increasing slaughter schedules. But in the meantime, packers are having no difficulty securing supplies.
  • Pressure on nearby futures should be limited by the steep discount those contracts hold to the cash index, which stands at $91.03.
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